Why technology is key to driving value-based healthcare

Why technology is key to driving value-based healthcare

Australia is at a breaking point where the burden of getting older is becoming far too great for us to contend with.

Advances in medicine and technology have created an unusual paradox between the benefit of human longevity and the despair of getting older. Ageing brings with it the insecurities and fears of mortality where once we were young and invincible to a period where our fragility is accentuated because of what it means to grow old and how it impacts on our health.

Australia’s ageing population is placing demands on the demographics of an economy where the health system is stretched to cope with the burdens of getting old. Simply put, we are at breaking point where this burden is becoming far too great for Australians to contend with.

An ageing population needs a more efficient healthcare system that requires agile and creative thinking to deal with an issue that is becoming a big problem. The concept of value-based care may be the answer.

In an article published last October in online publication prognoCIS, Deeya Ranjan said: “If value-based care is to produce the benefits and panacea it promises to be, then two important requirements are critical from a good electronic medical records (EMR) platform such as patient engagement through portals, information at the point of care for clinicians with mobility and effective good reporting.”

Shifting towards quality-based care and patient outcomes and reducing hospital readmissions using advanced health IT systems provide a compelling argument for healthcare providers to focus their attention on delivering better care.

The growing need to cut costs and improve healthcare delivering is pushing providers away from long-lasting, volume-based healthcare models to the more practical and considered ‘value-based healthcare’ model.

This care model aims to completely adjust payment and objective measures of medical quality of care. It drives outcomes and wellness in a proactive rather than reactive model.

This begs the question as to why value-based healthcare models are not in play to date. The answer lies with the technology required to engage patients to measure outcomes. Patient portals and apps need to drive feedback that will be tracked and analysed if organisations are to understand the value they are providing.

There are several technology engagements required to achieve results, ranging from patient entered data using apps through to wearable IoT devices that measure and capture relevant information that will be received by artificial intelligence bots and rendered to clinicians for diagnosis or tracking.

The objective of value-based healthcare aims to control the process of health services delivery by implementing best practices which ensures prevention is the foremost priority. This is coupled with initiatives that guard an individual’s health by implementing initiatives and programs that reduce the need for expensive processes, test and medicines.

Several medical service providers are already participating in this model.

The payment process encompassing doctors, hospitals and other providers is forged on a different measurement tool which includes quality, effectiveness, cost, and improvement of a patient’s experience.

Shifting toward a value-based payment model is driven by market ‘pressures as a means of reducing costs, and improving the quality of healthcare. Government, employers, health care plans and consumers must work together to deliver on value.

What value-based healthcare looks to achieve and create is to explicitly ensure patients remain the focus of healthcare and are supported by a specialised care team. It also ensures that proactive health care is delivered as opposed to reactive medicine; and patient data provides improved care and management.

Under this model, value is the benchmark for private health insurers and payment is centered on the quality of care. Patient quality engagement rises in standard when the shift is away from volume rather than value.

Transitioning from fee-to-service to value-based care will take time and the shift maybe more difficult than otherwise necessary. But change always produces hurdles before there is a clear run to the straight.

Healthcare providers strive with great dedication and care to help patients in all aspects of health management and recovery, and putting aside generating strategies to support a value-based model, conducting strong patient outreach programs are equally as important.

Offering positive experiences through the use of innovative technology will strive to deliver on the promise of quality healthcare at a lower cost and that is one vital objective that remains critical to the viability of a successful value-based care model.

Rafic Habib is The CEO and Chairman of Clinic to Cloud.

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